I have a hugantic yarn stash. I began collecting yarn back when I knit only on looms, seven and a half years ago, but the majority of the hoard came into being after I switched to knitting needles a short time later. The needles made me think I could knit faster, I guess, but I couldn't keep up. The fiber just appeared in my house--skein after bagload--as if someone had fed the first few of them after midnight.
In the early days, when the stash filled a mere bin or two, I logged it all into Ravelry.
It wasn't an overwhelming task, really, and I loved seeing my yarn displayed on one webpage. Since then, I have continued to keep track of it via Ravelry. I would buy a few skeins, use one immediately, but mostly tuck the rest of it away until a project worthy of the precious yarnie-warnie came my way. And so my Ravelry stash page grew.
Also, my dad's old wardrobe is now involved for storage, as well as four sets of plastic, stackable chests of drawers. And there is overflow. A knitter doesn't divulge exact, total yardage in mixed company (meaning, non-yarn
obsessives connoisseurs), but the numbers on Ravelry tell me I could unreel a continuous line of string from my house to Tulsa, no problem. Whenever I was in the same room as The Stash, I felt confronted by it. It was a wall of yarn, skeins inhumanely caged because so much potential was just sitting there. If the yarn could talk, it would've been muttering resentfully.
Let me tell you, confrontational yarn loses a lot of its preciousness in a big hurry.
So in January, I began diving into my stash more often for projects. Now, the fact that I started doing this after New Year's Day is more or less coincidence. I didn't act from a resolution, in other words, because resolutions made in January are like snowflakes made in May--they're doomed to die as soon as they hit ground. (And around here this year, we knew about Maytime snowflakes.) No, I was simply appalled at the stash-strocity around that time of year when winter was at its deepest and darkest. I became determined to whittle it down, so I reacted without much forethought. Thus was born Deep Stash 9.
Projects made from my oldest yarn acquisitions (the "Deep Stash") have been and will continue to be my main focus this year. I've already completed two projects which I've pictured below, and I'm working on the third. I've knit other projects in between them--those made from more recent additions to my stash and those made with brand new yarns for the local yarn shop where I work. Primarily, though, I am focusing on the stash yarns with the oldest vintage.
How old is that? Also, have I made any other guidelines for myself? Here are the bullet point specs:
- Yarns acquired during 2008 or earlier are eligible for The Nine*.
- Most of the yardage of a particular yarn must be used in the project, so leftovers are allowed.
- I can knit or crochet with other yarn, too, especially other yarn from my stash. My goal is to reduce the general size of the stash, after all.
That's pretty much it. I'm not even giving myself a time limit, like I Must Knit All Old Yarn By 2014. Since I would like to reduce the size of my entire stash so that it will all fit into my dad's wardrobe, I'm just going to work stitch by stitch, yard by yard, until enough of it is gone. Until I'm most of the way back home from Tulsa, that is.
With all of that explained, the first project of Deep Stash 9 was a pair of socks knit with a superwash merino wool dyed as "Coffee Bean" by Beyond Basic Knits.
Like most of the other yarns in The Nine, I bought this one in 2008. The dyer is no longer selling yarn on etsy.com, apparently; I can find no trace of her there.
The pattern is Asymmetrical Cables by Cookie A, from the book Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd.
The second project is a blanket, Hourglass Throw, by Anne Hanson.
I bought the yarn as mill ends from another now-defunct online seller Angelicrafts. It was a great deal, even though Caron Simply Soft is already inexpensive, but I'd never seen this heathered plum in stores. I had intended to knit THOMY a sweater with it since purple is his favorite color, but I made the blanket instead to give to his stepmom who recently underwent chemotherapy. I wanted her to have it as her chemo blanket, but I sorely underestimated the time it took to knit. In the end, she got the blanket for Mother's Day.
I'll post the other Nine individually, and probably while they're in progress. And I do my utmost to keep the other posts from being this freakishly long.
*Why NINE? If you're a Trekkie of any depth, you don't really have to ask that question. And, yes, I accidentally typed "Space" at least once. To directly answer a question THOMY posed to me: No, there will be no Ferengi sweaters included. Not even ear muffs.